Freeport Grand Bahama – Executives at the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) announced plans for Value Added Tax (VAT) readiness training for businesses to commence on Grand Bahama in the coming weeks. President, Ian Rolle advises that Freeport businesses will require help to ready their businesses for VAT, with education and planning being essential for a ‘smooth as possible’ implementation process come January 1, 2015.
“While there are still some concerns looming as to how VAT will be implemented in the city of Freeport; it does not change the fact that businesses need to be prepared,” Rolle stated.
“We have met with the Ministry for Grand Bahama, and Minister Darville has assured us that the Government is carefully reviewing all concerns regarding VAT on services put forward by GBPA and its Licencees. More importantly, this initiative is to assist Licencees in planning, organizing and educating themselves and customers regarding VAT; getting started with training is the best course of action,” Rolle added. “Time is of the essence as we have less than fifteen weeks before the start of the New Year.”
He added that tentative dates have been set for October 14th – 17th, 2014, and will cover aspects of VAT registration, reporting and compliance, as well as training on software application.
Derek Newbold, Business Development Manager for GBPA and the Invest Grand Bahama Unit (IGB), shared that the initiative will be organized through its Invest Grand Bahama Small Business Bureau (IGBSBB).
“We can safely say all businesses will be impacted by VAT in some form, and that businesses throughout the country still have a number of concerns regarding its implementation,” cited Newbold. “However, we also have a very clear understanding that while businesses and government may not agree on all points, effective January 1, 2015, VAT in the amount of 7.5% will be enforced across the country. And, in order for businesses to be ready, education, information and training is crucial at this time,” Newbold continued.
“The training will span four days, and will engage businesses from all sectors of Grand Bahama’s economy. We encourage Licencees, especially small businesses to capitalize on this opportunity to get preparations for their businesses underway.”
Newbold added that details on the training will be announced shortly, but that persons interested in participating in the VAT Readiness Training should contact the IGBSBB office at 350.9061 or 350.9305 to begin registering as space will be limited.